Smashburger’s new logo: extra smash, easy on the colors
Denver-based fast-casual chain Smashburger has unveiled the first major brand refresh in its nearly 15-year history, ditching its existing red-and-white color scheme in favor of a logo of earthy tones that emphasizes the restaurant’s signature burger prep method.
Now in orange and brown hues, the new logo welcomes the addition of a hand smasher—a metal implement used in Smashburger kitchens to smash balls of beef onto the griddle—a method that differentiates its burgers from the competition. The smasher is shown coming down with vertical speed lines on the “mas” in Smashburger, which display as lowercase letters in the otherwise-capitalized wordmark.
“Through the logo design, we want customers to understand the elevated burger experience they’ll get by dining at a Smashburger—and the smasher icon does just that,” says Carl Bachmann, president of Smashburger, which has been wholly owned by Filipino restaurant group Jollibee Foods Corp. since late 2018.
The company’s visual revamp is a modernized nod to its culinary process, with the new color scheme paying homage to its Colorado roots. The refresh marks the most significant of Smashburger’s multiple logo tweaks over the years, and was handled by Partners & Napier, the restaurant chain’s agency of record since 2019.
“The new identity system we created with Smashburger represents everything they stand for—the craft, the process and the elevation of the experience,” says Rob Kottkamp, chief creative officer at Partners & Napier.
The Rochester, New York-based agency also handled the brand’s 2020 “Smashed It” ad campaign and oversaw the creation of its current tagline: “Every bite a better burger.”
The chain’s updated logo will make its official restaurant debut next month at its Coors Field stadium location in Denver, followed in May at its Salt Lake City International Airport restaurant and in June at its locations in New York City.
The logo will also be featured at the roughly 20 new Smashburger restaurants slated to open this year, and should roll out to all existing stores in some form—on employee uniforms and advertising materials, for example—by summer’s end. The rebrand will be in effect at all locations both in the U.S. and around the globe.
Over this past year, Smashburger has also been working to remodel its restaurants to feature open-concept design elements such as an open kitchen, as well as implementing pandemic-safe features including contactless “cubby systems” and virtual drive-thru windows, Bachmann says. Revamping the chain’s logo and branding was a “natural next step,” he adds.